Spine 2023: What’s On

KINDNESS: 10 APRIL – 10 MAY 2023

Launching on 10 April 2023, SPINE Festival 2023 continues the exploration of KINDNESS with children and families in sixteen London boroughs. This year features spoken word and arts activities delivered by local artists, touring poetry SPIN show, a series of engaging workshops and imaginative events by SPINE’s 16 Artists in Residence.

This year will also see the festival’s inaugural Kindness Poetry Competition judged by this year’s SPINE 2023 Ambassador Joseph Coelho (Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate 2022-2024) in each partnering borough. A huge part of the work that Joseph delivers is around diversifying children’s literature. Libraries were also incredibly important to his childhood so he made the perfect choice to be an ambassador for this year’s festival.

The winners for this year’s competition have now been selected. Congratulations to Praven Kubavat, Kyan Norris and Mattie Stone. You can read the winning poems here: Kindness Competition Winners

A group of artists in residence, smiling in fun and different poses

What’s Happening at SPINE

There will be a mixture of events and interactive workshops for children to participate in. You can expect music, poetry, rapping, storytelling, movement, and more. The events will be based on the theme of kindness but this is not exclusive to the festival.

Each library will have its own programme of events so check what’s going on in your local library, or visit your nearby boroughs to take part in events there. Events are free to participate in. Some events will require tickets, and others will be drop-in sessions. It will be stated if you need to buy a ticket, otherwise, just turn up on the day.

SPIN Shows

At each library will also be the Apples and Snakes’ SPIN show – this is a word-warrior, fun-filled 45 minute show with raps and stories about kindness and the world around us. SPIN shows will feature 3 artists, in 15 mins slots, with the aim to engage and excite the audience. They’re interactive and a whole lot of fun! SPIN shows are also free to participate in, just turn up on the day.

SPIN takes place at the following locations and dates

Fri 14 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Islington with Desree, Adam Kammerling and Antoinette Brooks
Fri 14 Apr – 14.30-15.15 – Tower Hamlets with Desree, Adam Kammerling and Jay Sandhu
Sat 15 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Hammersmith and Fulham with Stanley Iyanu, Kenny Baraka and Gayathiri Kamalakanthan
Sat 15 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Ealing with Kenny Baraka, Güneş Güven and Stanley Iyanu
Fri 21 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Merton with Repeatbeat, Zohab Zee Khan and Eileen Gbagbo
Fri 21 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Sutton with Repeatbeat, Zohab Zee Khan and Eileen Gbagbo
Sat 22 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Bromley with Alim Kamara, Anneliese Amoah and Jasmin Thien
Sat 22 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Lewisham with Alim Kamara, Laila Sumpton and Anneliese Amoah
Wed 26 Apr – 14.00-14.45 – Harrow with Khairani Barokka, Simon Mole and Paul Lyalls
Fri 28 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Wandsworth with Simon Mole, Shagufta Iqbal and Ioney Smallhorne
Sat 29 Apr – – Southwark with Arji Manuelpillai, Shagufta Iqbal and Ioney Smallhorne
Wed 3 May – 10.30-11.15 – Newham with Arji Manuelpillai, Miss Jacqui, Jaspreet Kaur
Wed 3 May – 13.30-14.15 – Greenwich with Güneş Güven, Laila Sumpton, Miss Jacqui
Fri 5 May – 10.30-11.15 – Kensington & Chelsea with Kat François, Francesca Beard and Jaspreet Kaur
Fri 5 May – 13.30-14.15 – Westminster with Kat François, Francesca Beard and Sadatu Futa

SPIN show

Where is it happening

SPINE takes place in sixteen boroughs across London. The locations will be at libraries based in those boroughs.

All participating boroughs have been paired with Artists in Residence. The following boroughs will be participating next year. Click through to each paired borough to learn more about the artists and what’s happening in each borough:

Brent and Harrow
Bromley and Lewisham
Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham
Islington and Tower Hamlets
Merton and Sutton
Newham and Greenwich
Southwark and Wandsworth
Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea

If you live in these boroughs then pop into your local library to find out more. Don’t forget to pick up a very attractive bookmark.

These exciting take place throughout the month of 10 April to 10 May. The programme will be announced in February 2023.

SPINE Archive

A group of mixed adults stand in a row, posing and looking cheery

This isn’t the first year we have run SPINE but it is different every time we run it! Each year the content that has been made, and the people that we have worked with have been incredible. If you’re not sure what to expect from SPINE then do look through the archive to familiarise yourself.

We have collated this content in an archive for you to explore. This page contains some of the programming, the libraries that took art, artwork created and all the artists in residence that took part.

A huge part of this festival is all the libraries that take part. All the staff are incredibly important to making this festival come together and, of course, everyone who attends as a participant. You can read more in the impact of SPINE and all the wonderful things people have got up to in this blog post from Sarah Smith (MBE) at Brent Libraries.

Head over to our SPINE Archive page to discover more.

SPINE is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with Brent Library. In previous years, it has been supported by John Lyon’s Charity and  Arts Council England. We also would like to thank library authorities across London.

All photography of the artists in residence goes to: Suzi Corker (suzicorker.com)

Brent LibrariesArts Council England